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Lords question author of Wolf Review on vocational qualifications and apprenticeships

In the next evidence session for its inquiry into the social mobility of school leavers, House of Lords Select Committee on Social Mobility's will be meeting with Professor Alison Wolf, Baroness Wolf of Dulwich.

Professor Baroness Wolf is one of the UK's leading experts on social mobility, and author of the Wolf Report, 2011's review of vocational education. She specialises in the relationships between education and the labour market, and was a proponent of the apprenticeship levy which was announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer as part of his summer 2015 budget.

The Committee will explore the impact of Professor Baroness Wolf's review, and work that has been conducted since its publication, as well as a number of other issues including:

  • what she thinks a suitable route for 16 year old middle-attainers who are unlikely to be selected for higher-level apprenticeships, and whether this focus on high-level apprenticeships excludes those who are not academically successful;
  • her opinion of the Governments plan for an apprenticeship levy on large employers, following on from her proposal for a levy on all employers;
  • the potential challenges faced by the Government in meeting its three million apprenticeship target;
  • how the disparity in funding between FE and HE colleges impacts on the provision colleges are able to offer, and what it maybe tell us about the Government's priorities; and
  • further explanation of her criticism of the relationship between employers, training providers and apprentices, as well as the changes she thinks need to be made.

The following session, at 11.35am, will be on data gathering, and how data can be used to inform good policy making. In this session, the Committee will hear from:

  • Professor Anne Green, from the Institute for Employment Research at the University of Warwick;
  • Professor Sandra McNally, Director for the Centre for Vocational Education Research at the London School of Economics; and
  • Dr Stefan Speckesser, Chief Economist at the Institute for Employment Studies.

The Committee will use the session to investigate issues including the key data sets used to analyse patterns of provision and progression in labour markets for young people, under-served groups and middle attainers, the accessibility of the data available to policymakers and researchers; and what the data is showing on the progression of those young people from different backgrounds who do not follow an academic route.

The evidence sessions will start from 10.35am on Wednesday 18 November in Committee Room 4A of the House of Lords.

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